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  • K.C. Wilson. Sweat, dirt and intensity.


    K.C. simply enjoyed the bliss of flying around the floating red buoys and the adrenaline rush of pulling behind the boat, but he never understood the importance of incorporating other aspects of fitness to advance his skiing.

    "During middle school and high school, I maintained an active schedule, but there was limited purpose to my routine. I just kind of winged it with lifting weights. I would definitely say I was more injury prone due to the lack of purpose in my training during those years," K.C. comments.

    In March of his eight-grade year, K.C. suffered a torn LCL and PCL from a water ski accident that barred him from gracing the slalom course.

    Sadly, as soon as the blonde-haired Floridian set foot on the Frank Lloyd Wright embellished campus of Florida Southern, his college water ski career began with a back injury which forced him to take, once again, months off the water for recovery.

    This time, his perspective on fitness took a turn. The second injury, which took precious time away from the water, caused him to strongly consider a more focused training.

    "A stress fracture in my L4 and L5 vertebrae my freshman year of college definitely opened my eyes to better understand the physical demands of my body to be a competitive athlete. I think these injuries were absolutely as a result of poor human mechanics. As a result, I began to learn how to train off the water in the gym and prepare for the physical demands of skiing."

    Being in college, K.C. was able to formulate his own schedule. He began researching different techniques to strengthen his inner core and each and every fiber of his muscles and bones.

    "I worked a lot on flexibility and Olympic lifting to build strength," K.C. comments. "There is now a lot more purpose and structure to what I do. I'm more organized so I can go in, get it done, and get out."

    During the water ski collegiate season, a typical week consists of skiing at the crack of dawn as the sun's orange rays glow over the horizon. The glare on the water is sometimes unbearably blinding, while other times the fog can be so thick it is impossible to see 50 feet into the distance. Still, K.C. consistently skies every day at seven in the morning. He then fills up on a nutritious breakfast, usually of hard-boiled eggs and citrus fruit, and then once again climbs into the crimson red master craft water ski towboat for another set.

    However, skiing is now no longer his only source of fitness. K.C. has implemented a new exercise plan to elevate his skiing and prevent injuries. Monday afternoons are reserved for heavier lifting in the gym with dead lifts and squats after a ski set earlier in the morning. On Wednesdays, K.C. focuses on faster circuits with lighter weights while on Thursdays he performs interval exercises like running.

    His structured fitness plan now concentrates on additional criteria other than physical fitness. As K.C.'s body slowly wakes up before his early morning ski sessions, he stretches. From his injuries, K.C. has learned that in order to attain optimum athletic performance and lower the risk of injury, it is vital to stretch joints to reach their full range of motion before physical exercise.

    K.C comments that some people never stretch and that there is a point where the body will break down. He does the best to prevent it.

    Furthermore, K.C. has realized that becoming the consummate college athlete also involves dietary health. In high school, his mother always cooked for the family. Employing a healthy lifestyle, his mother served nutritious food at the dinner table.

    Everyone knows that the cafeteria does not offer many options. But K.C. has found how to avoid the greasy fried chicken and tempting sugar-coated cookies and cakes.

    "The biggest thing for food is eating vegetables. My philosophy is everything is good, but too much of anything is not good. But every once in a while you have to have a little dessert," K.C. grins.

    All of these additional efforts have played into K.C's ability to ski worldwide and achieve greatness. Due to traveling for collegiate and international tournaments, K.C. explains that the body is thrown into varying circumstances. However, the extra training outside of practice has consistently helped to prepare his body for the rigor of travel through different time zones and the resulting fatigue.

    K.C. admits that competing at elite levels in high school was easier. He asserts that in college he can no longer rely solely on talent. Competition in college is a lot tougher.

    "The moment you mess up, it's over." K.C. explains.

    Supplementary factors such as structured eating and a fitness and stretching program have contributed to allowing K.C. to compete the whole season at the top of his game.

    During his freshman year, K.C. captured the men's slalom title at the DI Collegiate Nationals, a feat that is rare among low classmen competitors. Remarkably, he defended his title the next year. Not only is K.C. a decorated collegiate skier, he has also been making a name for himself in the professional field of water skiing. Some of his many feats that he accomplished while in college include placing seventh in Soaked his freshman year, eight in the Atlanta ProAm his sophomore year, and most recently second at the 2014 Malibu Open.

    K.C. knows that his dedication to fitness and well-being has been a factor in his success.

    "I think just the ability to have my body be at one-hundred percent competitive level, with strength and mobility and not having any injuries, which helps keep you focused and do well in tournaments, all intertwines and plays a role."


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